Taking a 'friendly bacteria' during pregnancy and when breastfeeding could halve the baby's odds of developing eczema, a study found.
Mothers who took a probiotic supplement in the last month of pregnancy and in the first few months of breastfeeding had babies who were half as likely to develop the skin condition.
When they were tested at age two, those exposed to the probiotic were half as likely to have developed eczema as those exposed to dummy powders. However, the effect only applied to one of the two types of probiotic tested. The other bacteria tested in the study, Bifidobacterium animalis, did little to prevent eczema, the New Zealand study reports in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The researchers asked around 300 women to take probiotic capsules in the last month of pregnancy and while breast-feeding. The contents of the capsules were also sprinkled on the babies' food and drinks. All of the babies studied had a family history of allergies, putting them at higher risk of eczema.
Source - Daily Mail